Ashtabula Area Orchestra 27th Annual Christmas Concerts – December 4 & 5, 2021

The Ashtabula Area Orchestra, in residence at the Lakeside Performing Arts Center, presents its 27th annual Holiday Concerts, Saturday, December 4, 2021, at 7pm at the Lakeside Performing Arts Center, Lakeside High School 6600 Sanborn Road, Ashtabula 44004 and Sunday, December 5, 2021, at 2 pm, at the Jefferson Area High School Auditorium, 207 W Mulberry St, Jefferson, OH 44047. These fun and exciting, family-friendly weekend concerts, with Guest Conductor, Lakeside’s Director of Instrumental Music, David P. Roth, will feature orchestral Christmas and holiday musical favorites, including “Leroy Anderson’s, “Sleigh Ride” and “A Christmas Festival”.

David P. Roth

Conductor David Roth is no stranger to the Ashtabula area music scene. He is Director of Instrumental Music for Lakeside Junior and Senior High Schools. Under David’s tutelage, young string players, who advance through the District’s 4th – 12th grade String Program, hone their skills through Lakeside’s Orchestra and its String Ensemble for advanced players. A trombonist, he is a member of the Ashtabula Area Orchestra, the Ashtabula Brass Band and the Lakeland Civic Jazz Band.

“This is the Orchestra’s first performances since the beginning of the Covid 19 pandemic, said Cheryl Dickson, President of the Ashtabula Area Orchestra Board of Directors. “We’re super excited to have an opportunity to gather our musicians together and celebrate the holidays with the Ashtabula Area community. We were heartbroken to have to cancel last year’s event, due to public health concerns, so this year’s event will be really special to us.”

“We are really looking forward to performing again in Jefferson”, said trumpeter Richard Sesco, AAO board member and Personnel Director. “The Jefferson Village community gave us such a warm reception, during our last performance there. Everyone’s been suggesting that we return to play in Jefferson again.”

Tickets for this year’s concert are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and $6 for students. Children 5 and under are free. Tickets will be available at the door.  Saturday and Sunday, Orchestra board members will also be holding a 50/50 raffle and a holiday raffle to win one of several gift baskets. Raffle tickets can be purchased in the lobby, prior to the concerts and during intermission.  Proceeds will benefit the Orchestra and its community educational programs.

Founded in 1982 and performing under the current leadership of Musical Director, Tim Carlson, the Ashtabula Area Orchestra is celebrating its 38th concert season. The Ashtabula Area Orchestra is a volunteer, community orchestra, for the benefit of student, professional and non-professional musicians and classical music lovers of all ages.

“The Ashtabula Area Orchestra is a rare jewel: a small-town American orchestra based in a rural county”, said Debbie Laveck, AAO Board Vice-President. “Like many non-profits, we had to suspend our fundraising efforts, during the pandemic. That has left our organization in a financially precarious position. We are asking our friends, family, and the regional business community to step up to the plate and donate this year. The generous support of our donors is critical to the long-term stability of our historic organization and the betterment of Ashtabula and its surrounding communities.”

The Ashtabula Area Orchestra, Inc. is a 501c3 not-for-profit organization. All donations are tax deductible. Additional donations to the Orchestra may be brought to the concert event or mailed to: Ashtabula Area Orchestra, PO Box 415 Ashtabula, OH 44005-0415. If you are interested in becoming a member of the orchestra or volunteering on the Board of Directors or one of its committees, please contact Cheryl Dickson-Walker at 440-294-2431. For more information on the Ashtabula Area Orchestra, contact Cheryl Dickson-Walker at 440-294-2431, or connect with the Orchestra on its Facebook page: @AshtabulaOrchestra and on Twitter: @AshtabulaO.

This concert event is presented in cooperation with the Ashtabula Area City School District and the Jefferson Area Local School District.

Tips for Young People’s Concerts

The Ashtabula Area Orchestra is very interested in presenting ‘Young People’s concerts’ and orchestra ‘Petting Zoos’ at county schools and facilities, such as the District library. I ran across this article on the League of American Orchestra’s Winter 2020 edition of Symphony magazine. It has great tips for planning one of these concerts.

AAO Community Projects -2020

The Ashtabula Area Orchestra Board of Directors is hard at work, planning for the 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 Concert Seasons. Along with ongoing fundraising efforts, we are also working on outreach to the Ashtabula area, especially to our friends and neighbors in its more economically disadvantaged and distressed urban and rural neighborhoods. We are in the process of applying for grants to underwrite year-round free orchestra and orchestra-derived solo and ensemble performances at various venues in these areas.

Although we are in residence at Ashtabula’s Lakeside Performing Arts Center, The Ashtabula Area Orchestra here to share the joy of classical and orchestral music with the entire county… from the shores of Conneaut to farm lands of Windsor. If your church, school or community organization is interested in hosting our Orchestra for a concert – it helps if you have an indoor space large enough to hold a 35-55-piece musical ensemble, complete with timpanis , or an outdoor space with a large amphitheater – please let us know.

Supporting our county’s children participating in K-12 public and private school music programs is also a big part of our mission. With that in mind, our Education committee is searching for grants and individual and corporate donations to support our proposed Ashtabula Orchestra String Project. This project, initially, would be targeted at offering 20 – 30 Ashtabula City Schools string instrument (violin, viola, cello, bass) students, grades 4-8, free, in-school or after-school, individual or small group lessons, taught by members of our Orchestra. Lessons would focus on improving technique and performance skills, reinforcing and supplementing lessons being taught by their outstanding teachers during regular classroom time. Our goal is to prepare string students to perform individually at the level at which they can be competitive in the annual Ohio Music Education Association District 5 Solo and Ensemble Contests. Over time, we hope to offer this program at the high school level, and have the ability to expand this program to other county school districts.

The second part of this project involves the establishment of an annual summer Ashtabula Orchestra String Boot Camp, in 2020 or 2021. This would be a 10-day intensive day-camp for string instrumentalists (beginning to intermediate level), aimed at improving technique and building a strong foundation.

Day-campers would receive private and group lessons, supervised daily practice, classes on fundamentals, scales, and etudes and take part in workshops on practice techniques. The week culminates in a solo recital program, demonstrating individual student progress and growth made during the camp.

As with the lesson program, initially, this program would target 20 – 30 string students, grades 4-8, with the idea of expanding it to grades 9 – 12, in the near future. The String Boot Camp would offer full scholarships to participating students from the Ashtabula City Schools, and students from outside the district meeting certain income levels. All students would require a letter of recommendation from one of their music teachers, in order to participate in the program.

Would you be interested in becoming a string instructor or volunteer with the Ashtabula Area Orchestra’s String Project? Message us through this website or on Facebook or Twitter… we look forward to hearing from you.

Dates for the 2020 Ashtabula Area Orchestra Holiday Concerts

Ready for Christmas and Hanukkah again? Sure,you are! Well, we now have the dates for this year’s Holiday Concerts. The Ashtabula Area Orchestra will be performing Saturday, December 5, 7 pm at our home base, the Lakeside Performing Arts Center , and Sunday, December 6, at a site to be determined later this year. As always, we try to reach out to all of our Ashtabula County communities, so this year, we most likely will be performing in South County again. Keep checking back for updates on these and other AAO concerts.

A Wonderful Holiday Concert Weekend!

The Ashtabula Area Orchestra Board of Directors would like to thank all of the musicians, staff members, volunteers and audience members who helped make each of our weekend Holiday Concerts at Lakeside and Geneva a very fun and exciting experience. We were honored to see so many smiling faces, young and old, at Geneva High…. this was our first time performing there. We hope to return to ‘Genevaland’ to perform again, soon. And a special thanks to all who took part in our raffles and made so many generous donations to the Orchestra fund. Many hours of practice and behind-the-scenes planning (and prayer!) go into presenting concerts such as these, but we could not do any of this without the financial support of music lovers, like you. Thank you so much for your support – we hope to bring you more Ashtabula Area Orchestra concerts, in 2020.

Make sure to check in, over the next few days, when we will be posting tons of photos, video and concert audio recorded by our Board member, photographer/videographer and audio recording engineer, David Walker. These photos were taken, Sunday, by our newest board member, Dr. Irene Fiana. The merry one with the long white beard is Santa, AKA AAO volunteer Michael Lawrence, a fabulous student at Lakeside High School.

This #GivingTuesday , Donate to the Ashtabula Area Orchestra

For 37 years, The Ashtabula Area Orchestra has been a labor of love, bringing the sounds of classical and orchestral music to Ohio’s largest county. Our volunteer, community orchestra exists because of the generous financial support of music-loving people, just like you. This #GivingTuesday , keep the AAO going strong into the 2020’s.

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Donate any amount today… you will make a difference.

Give at is Back!

It’s been a long, hard-fought battle, but we FINALLY got our domain, , back in our musical little hands. For a while, it was pointing to a very strange Japanese site, selling, who knows what, but now we have regained control of our domain and we’re ready to spread the word once again about our fabulous organization.

Please, spend some time and look around our site. We’re still building out the website and are open to ideas for new pages. For example, someone suggested doing profiles on our individual musicians – I think that would be a great way for our extended online community to get to know us better. And it would be great for building a sense of community within our orchestra.

We’re also seeking photos for our online gallery – concerts, rehearsals, etc. Of particular interest are historical photos of AAO performances pre-2010. We used to have a large collection of these, however they were lost after one of our board members passed away. Photos can be emailed to ,

Make sure to subscribe to this blog and keep in touch.

The Holiday Concert Tickets are Here!

Aren’t they lovely? Puts me right in the Christmas spirit. The 2019 Ashtabula Area Orchestra tickets have arrived. If you would like to have some reserved for you, please contact us on the comments below, on our Facebook page @AshtabulaOrchestra or leave a message at our friends at Media Magic : 440-294-2431. We’ll have them at the ticket table for you.

Ticket prices are $12 Adults, $10 Seniors, $6 Students and 5 and under are Free. This is a family-friendly event! If you or someone you know would like to attend, but cannot afford it, please contact us and we will make arrangements for you to attend one of the concerts.

See you in December!

Get Noticed! Advertise in our Holiday Concert Program

Get terrific exposure for your business or organization, while supporting Ashtabula’s community orchestra. Purchase an ad in our Concert Program Booklet. Through the generosity of the Ashtabula Area City Schools’ Board of Education, we are granted rehearsal space at Lakeside High School, but we must cover all other operational costs through support from patrons, grants, fundraisers, orchestra members and area advertisers, such as you.

Your advertisement in our Concert Program Booklet will be seen by all attending our upcoming concerts. Our ad rates accommodate all budgets, large and small. Ad cost includes preparation of camera-ready art , which can be submitted as a high-resolution electronic jpeg, tif or pdf file. Electronic files can be emailed to . For more information on placing an ad in our Concert Program Booklet, call Debbie Laveck today at 440.813-1362 and check olut our Ad Rate Sheet page. We thank you in advance for supporting your hometown symphony orchestra.